Need to find a job? You’re not alone. Unemployment is at a steady 9% (as of October 2010) and not expected to improve anytime soon. If you’re among these job seekers, searching for employment is almost a full time job itself. You need a leg up to find a job fast and hopefully find a job you love at the same time. Consider using social media to gain an advantage over traditional resume e-mailing job-seekers. Here are three ways to use social media to find a job:
LinkedIn is the largest social network of professionals. Use LinkedIn to develop your online professional profile and resume by listing present and past jobs and responsibilities. You can also detail your professional summary, which is a great place to write freely about where you’ve been, and where you want to go in your career – your LinkedIn profile is a great opportunity to sell your key strengths, and showcase your personality, which a potential employer will eventually consider.
LinkedIn connects you to people across industries, providing prospective employers with a broader view of who you are. Ask for recommendations from your connections, which will be displayed on your profile and provide social proof of your competence. Connections validate your strengths and ability to form relationships within your company, with clients, and with other business partners. The key to using LinkedIn is developing these connections; search for previous colleagues, college friends and business partners – the ability to import your contact lists from Facebook and your email makes this easy. Once you are comfortable with LinkedIn, explore and search the Groups feature to connect with others in your industry; often members of these groups will share leads, and may feature members who can connect you with companies who are actually hiring.
Twitter is a great place to share and find news. However, it is also a good place to find job and internship opportunities. The fastest way to find newly listed positions is to use Twitter’s search to look for job titles or companies you are interested in following; consider following people who tweet about those job types, or about a specific company. Following Twitter accounts that aggregate job listings (from other job boards, such as @socialmediajobs) also makes looking for a job easier – these are often niche specific, but are easily found using Twitter’s search engine if you search for job categories. When appropriate, engage in discussion with people in your prospective industry. Make sure, however, that before you use Twitter to reach out to a company or person that your Twitter profile is well-developed and appropriate – your avatar should be a picture of you, your bio should be not only accurate, but professional in tone, and if you don’t have a personal website, consider linking to your LinkedIn profile to provide more information.
Many employees are not finding jobs – they are being found by prospective employers. In addition to LinkedIn, use social media to share your resume online by making a blog. This can be done at little to no cost (some platforms, like Lockergnome, are free) and can help get your name recognized in your industry. Use a blog to not only develop a searchable resume (everything on your blog will be indexed on Google) but to also showcase your portfolio, whether it be written, photographic or sketched. Using a blog can help you gain expert status, which is becoming increasingly important as the job market becomes increasingly competitive. Remember to keep it professional, however, if you do blog for the purpose of finding a job. Anything you associate with your name a future employer can find via Google, which is key benefit of blogging.